E Commerce: It's Clicking

Marketing hoopla aside, 1998 will be remembered as the year E-commerce went mainstream. But Internet selling's apparent success--estimates range from $2 billion to as high as $5 billion for the holiday season--should not come as a surprise. Indeed, the groundwork had been laid all year. And despite some glitches, odds are that growth will keep climbing, with total sales to consumers expected to top $18 billion for all of 1999, according to Forrester Research Inc., up from $7.8 billion this year. By 2003, Forrester says, sales could reach $108 billion, accounting for 6% of consumer retail spending. And those are conservative estimates.

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